Cebu City may rent ultra-freezing storage facility for vaccines

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | January 28,2021 - 06:16 PM
The Cebu City government is considering renting a storage facility for COVID-19 vaccines instead of buying one.  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (file photo)

The Cebu City government is considering renting a storage facility for COVID-19 vaccines instead of buying one.  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (file photo)

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City may resort to renting an ultra-freezing storage facility for the vaccines instead of buying new ones.

This was the statement of City Administrator Floro Casas, Jr., who is a member of the Vaccine Advisory Board and has been part of the negotiations with pharmaceutical companies for the city’s procurement of coronavirus vaccines.

Read: Cebu City vaccine board visits storage facility

Casas said that Mayor Edgardo Labella had asked the board to look into the possibility that the city could purchase its own freezers for the vaccines, but the board had found substantial reasons why it might not be in the best interest of the city.

Primarily, the freezers must be compatible with the type of vaccine that the city will procure in the future and as there are various temperatures needed for the vaccines starting by zero degrees Celsius up to -70 degrees Celsius.

Read: Vaccine plan for Cebu City nearing completion

If the city buys the wrong freezer, this may affect the shelf life of the vaccines.

“Atong storage facility nangita na gyod mi, but amo pang bana-banaon kung makasave ba ta kung mopalit or magrent na lang tag refrigeration facility,” said Casas in a phone conference on January 28, 2021.

(We are still looking for our storage facility, but we are still assessing if we can save if we buy the refrigeration facility or rent it.)

Although buying a freezer facility may be convenient, the city has to also consider the price of maintaining it.

He said it might be more advantageous to rent a facility for now.

Read: Cebu City now in talks with Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna

However, Casas said that the city would have to finalize its choice of a vaccine first before it could buy or rent a storage facility.

Only when there is a final choice of a vaccine can the city consider choosing the best storage facility for these vaccines.

Read: Tumulak: We need to purchase freezers for vaccines

On Wednesday, January 27, 2021, the City Council approved the resolution of Councilor David Tumulak urging the city government to consider or study the possibility of buying storage facilities for the vaccines.

Tumulak had said there was a necessity to prepare the facility before the actual vaccines would arrive so that the shelf life of the vaccines would be preserved. /dbs

Read: China vaccine can’t be most expensive option

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TAGS: casas, COVID-19, freezers, Labella, ultra-freezing storage facility, vaccines

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